Author: Christopher Seward
Publication: Atlanta Journal Constitution
Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus is warning that more middle-class Americans are going to be “very, very hurt – very, very hurt” by rising health care costs in the months ahead, but the full impact of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, will hit home in 2015, after this year’s midterm elections.
“If you’re somebody working for a living and you’ve been doing this for a number of years and your employer has been covering you and paying the [health insurance] premium for you … you’re going to end up with very little insurance [or] you’ll end up with very, very high co-pays,” Marcus told FoxNews business reporter Neil Cavuto this week. “Most Americans haven’t gotten the blow they’re going to get from Obamacare.”
Marcus is founder of Job Creators Alliance and Job Creators Network Foundation, which were formed to be advocates for small businesses and to fight government regulations, which the groups say are hurting entrepreneurs and killing jobs.
Pointing to a new survey that shows nearly half of Americans want Obamacare repealed, Marcus said the law may be expanding health care coverage to 30 million people but it is hurting more than 150 million.
Bankrate’s Health Insurance Pulse survey found Americans were evenly split at 46 percent for and 46 percent against Obamacare’s repeal, with 9 percent undecided or nonresponsive. Seventy-nine percent of self-identified Republicans favored repeal and 74 percent of Democrats said the law should be kept in place.
Bankrate also found a rising percentage of Americans reports feeling “more negative” toward Obamacare’s impact on their own health care.
“Think about middle-class people that are living hand to mouth, really,” said Marcus, who has been a vocal critic of Obama administration policies. “You’re making $70,000 to $80,000 today. It’s not an easy life for you. Everything has gone up. The cost of food has gone up. The cost of gas has gone up…and all of a sudden you’re taking home less pay than you did before because of your cost of health insurance.”
Despite the White House’s insistence that the economy is improving and more jobs are being created, Marcus said “it’s not true” and that small businesses are not expanding because of uncertainty about health care costs, taxes, government regulation and even unionization.
Marcus also said President Barack Obama is “not helping to create jobs in America.”
“A lot of business people are afraid to go forward,” Marcus said. “This is not conducive to hiring people.”
The Labor Department releases its unemployment figures for December on Friday.